WUSC is collaborating with the local government in Ghana to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods in local communities. The Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District Development project is an example of what an innovative multi-stakeholder collaboration can achieve and how it represents positive steps towards good practice in the mining sector.
In 2007, WUSC initiated discussions with the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District Assembly (BABDA) and Rio Tinto Alcan, who at the time operated the Ghana Bauxite Company, on ways in which WUSC could support the delivery of quality education in the district. WUSC and our partners implemented the Kanaso School Project as a pilot.
Following the success of the pilot Kanaso School project in 2008 – which was concentrated in only one community – WUSC, Rio Tinto Alcan and the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai (BAB) District authorities decided to extend the joint efforts to support sustainable development in the whole district as a contribution to the district's Medium-Term Development Plan. WUSC entered into detailed, frank discussions with Rio Tinto Alcan to ensure that the partnership shared a common vision and objective.
Rio Tinto Alcan, as part of its commitment to responsible mining practices, is providing a $300,000 grant over three years to the project. In 2010, Rio Tinto Alcan sold their share of the operation of the mine to a Chinese company – Bosai Minerals Group, and it is no longer operating in the district. They remain committed to funding the project through 2014. The three-year project is also benefiting from $500,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The project brings together cross-sectoral partners to promote economic growth and development in the BAB District. The goal of the project is to promote citizen participation and engagement in addressing the development challenges in 12 communities of the BAB district (reaching a population of about 29,682), by creating an active link between local government, communities, and development planners. The 12 communities participating in this project have become active advocates of their development needs. The project began in 2011 and will continue until 2014.
The three-year project aims to address areas of vital importance to the district, such as education, water and sanitation, and skills development for youth. This is achieved through:
- Strengthening governance and service delivery through training and participatory meetings;
- Improving the quality of education and school services;
- Increasing access to water and improving hygiene within the communities; and
- Increasing skills for employment for youth.
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